"Do not go," the voice of conscience exhorted.
After work, I was planning to attend a special evangelistic rally.
"Tonight you have to witness for me in the mall," the voice commanded.
Strongly wanting to go to the rally, I decided to ignore the inner voice. A tension had been building inside of me for a couple of weeks. I could sense that
Jesus Christ wanted me to devote even more time and effort to his ministry work.
And yet a rebelliousness started to grow inside me, as if another force countering
the instructions from Jesus were coming into play.
Rebelling against my voice of conscience, I attended the evangelist's meeting. It was held in the large auditorium of a local college.
During the meeting I was seated next to a woman who looked to be in her thirties. At the end of the event she asked me in a soft voice, "Have you enjoyed the evangelist's talk?"
"Yes, he's pretty good," I replied, "but I find his view to be very narrow-minded."
The truth was that I had felt very uncomfortable during the preacher's talk. By the time it was over, I was boiling with agitation against his fundamentalist stance and was determined to start being bold and open about my New Age-oriented beliefs. I decided that I had to counteract these heresies preached by the fundamentalists in the name of my master.
The woman asked calmly, "What kind of religious views do you have?"
"I am a New Age Christian," I blurted out.
This was the first time I had made such a statement to a Christian believer. The inner voice of conscience had always cautioned me not be open about my New Age beliefs. But after hearing the evangelist, I was angry and unwilling to be silent any longer. Unwittingly the preacher had fanned the flames of my passion and courage.
To my surprise, the woman did not express any disgust at my answer. "Oh," she commented humbly, "I used to be involved with the New Age myself, until I came to the Lord."
From the way she expressed herself, I sensed that she no longer approved of the New Age.
"Well, you shouldn't feel bad about it," I said frankly. "The New Age has some excellent ideas and truths. Most of the New Agers just lack the direct power of Jesus Christ in their lives.
When she didn't answer, I asked politely, "Which church do you attend?"
"The Church on the Way."
"Oh yes," I interrupted, "Jack Hayford's place. I know about it. I have never been there, but I sometimes listen to Jack on the radio."
"Concerning this New Age Christianity you are involved in, said the woman," do you mind if I pray for you right now? I do not know what you believe, but I would like to pray for you."
"Yeah, sure, we can pray," I replied, thinking that I could always use extra prayers to help me in my ministry work.
The woman took hold of my hand as we prayed. "Dear Heavenly Father," she began. "I ask that you will give this brother wisdom to perceive that which is true. Let him fully understand your Word. I ask that the mighty power of the Holy Spirit will be at work in his life, leading him to a true knowledge of Jesus. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen."
How nice to be prayed for, I thought to myself as I left the auditorium. Even
though I have a close relationship with Jesus, I would like to be filled with more
of his power and truth.
About a week after the gospel rally, I was preparing to quit work at the end of the day. "Do not go to the library," the inner voice instructed. "You must witness in
the mall this evening."
I remained aloof to the unwelcome voice of conscience.
"You have to do my work," it commanded sternly, as if expressing the words of Jesus. "Time is running out. You have to get your ministry established."
The spirit of rebelliousness against the inner voice rose again. On this particular evening, I stubbornly continued to ignore the prompting. An alternative project loomed in the forefront of my mind: I wanted to read a particular book. Even though the inner voice kept exhorting me to do mall witnessing, I determined to obtain a copy of this book.
In my earlier study of Gordon Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, I
had read an interesting section describing a woman who claimed to have had visions from God during the middle of the nineteenth century. The idea that a Christian mystic lived before the time of Madam Blavatski and Alice Bailey stimulated my deep interest. It sounded as if she may well have been a New Age Christian living decades before the start of the contemporary New Age movement.
From a library I borrowed Ellen G. White, Prophet of Destiny by Rene Noorbergen.
It began by describing a vision in which Ellen White saw the 1906 San Francisco earthquake several days before its actual occurrence.(2) The apparent psychic ability was impressive and encouraged me to read on.
A general discussion followed concerning the difference between psychic ability and prophecy. The author analyzed psychic mediums such as Edgar Cayce, Jeane Dixon, and Peter Hurkos from the standpoint of comparing their teachings with biblical Scripture. Then followed a short biography of Ellen White's early life.
My attention was then drawn to the chapter "Unmasking the Mastermind" containing Ellen White's narrative of a vision she had in 1858.(3)
The Lord has shown me that Satan was once an honored angel in heaven,
.... next to Christ. His countenance, like those of the other angels, was
mild and expressive of happiness. His forehead was high and broad,
showing great intelligence. His form was perfect; his bearing noble and
majestic. But when God said to his Son, "Let us make man in our image,"
Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the
formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy,
jealousy and hatred. He desired to receive the highest honors in heaven
next to God.
(2) Ellen White was the daughter of a lay preacher and was brought up
as a strict Methodist. She claimed to have had her first vision in 1844.
In 1863, she co-founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a formal
(3) The vision is known as the Great Controversy Vision.
I wondered whether there really was a Satan who rebelled in heaven with a bunch
of evil angels. I remembered that Muriel sometimes talked about Satan and negative forces; she seemed to think he was a real being. Djwhal Khul, on the other hand, denounced the idea that a great enemy of God existed; he considered the devil to be a fictitious myth.
Ellen White's narrative drew my attention again.
Until this time, ... all heaven had been in order, harmony and perfect
subjection to the government of God. It was the highest sin to rebel
against His order and will. All heaven seemed in commotion.... There
was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were
striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into
His unsearchable wisdom and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus
and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They
rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were
summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It
was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with
all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion.
I began to consider that maybe there really was an archangel in heaven called Satan who became jealous and rebelled against God. Perhaps Satan existed somewhere upon our planet in the realm of the spirit planes.
I read on.
Satan stood in amazement at his new condition. His happiness was gone.
He looked upon the angels who, with him, were once so happy, but who
had been expelled from heaven with him. Before their fall not a shade of
discontent had marred their perfect bliss. Now all seemed changed.
Countenances which had reflected the image of their Maker were gloomy
and despairing. Strife, discord, and bitter recrimination were among them....
When Satan became fully conscious that there was no possibility of his
being brought again into favor with God, his malice and hatred began to
manifest. He consulted with his angels, and a plan was laid to still work
against God's government. When Adam and Eve were placed in the
beautiful garden, Satan was laying plans to destroy them. It was decided
that Satan should assume another form and manifest an interest for man.
He must insinuate against God's truthfulness and create doubt whether
God did mean just what He said.
Putting the book down, I contemplated on this fascinating account of the rebellion. Did Satan really rebel and then feel gloom and despair in his separation from God?
I picked up the book again and continued to read.
Satan commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey ... As soon
as Eve had disobeyed she became a powerful medium through which to
occasion the fall of her husband ... ... Then Satan exulted ....The news of
man's fall spread through heaven. Every harp was hushed. The angels
cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. All heaven was in agitation....
... Satan triumphed. He had made others suffer by his fall. He had been
shut out of heaven ... they out of paradise.
Wondering whether there had been an Adam and Eve who were tempted by the devil in Paradise, I recalled that, as a Christian teenager, I had accepted the teaching that life started with God's creation as recorded in Genesis. But for some
reason, I had discounted the idea that Adam and Eve were tempted and fell. It
was as if I didn't want to believe in a Satan who could tempt people. I felt more
at ease with the idea that temptation was an internal process occurring within a
person's psyche caused by foolishness and ignorance.
I recalled that Muriel believed in the Genesis account of the fall. Based upon revelations from Jesus, she told us that Eve's sin was a terrible catastrophe and subsequently caused all the suffering we now find on the planet.
I returned to Ellen White's narrative.
He [real Jesus] then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape
had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with
His Father, and had offered to give His life as a ransom, to take the
sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon;
that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God,
they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden,
and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.
At first the angels could not rejoice; for their Commander concealed
nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. Jesus
told them that He would stand between the wrath of His Father and
guilty man, that He would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would
receive Him as the Son of God. Nearly all would hate and reject Him.
Resting my eyes for a moment, I thought, So this was how the beloved Jesus
planned to redeem mankind: He offered to take on the karma of the world and pay the price by his own death. Amazing.
I was anxious to read on.
He would leave all glory in heaven, appear upon earth as a man, humble
Himself as a man, become acquainted by His own experience with the
various temptations with which man would be beset, that He might know
how to succor those who should be tempted; and that finally, after His
mission as a teacher would be accomplished, He would be delivered into
the hands of men, and endure almost every cruelty and suffering that
Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict; that He would
die the cruelest of deaths, hung between the heavens and the earth, as a
guilty sinner; that He would suffer dreadful hours of agony, which even
angels could not look upon, but would veil their faces from the sight. Not
merely agony of body would He suffer, but mental agony, that with which
bodily suffering could in no wise be compared. The weight of the sins of
the whole world would be upon Him. He told them He would die and rise
again the third day, and would ascend to His Father to intercede for
wayward, guilty man. ...
With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed
them that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him,
and that by His death He should ransom many and destroy him who had
the power of death. And His Father would give Him the kingdom ... under
the whole heaven, and He would possess it forever and ever. Satan and
sinners would be destroyed, nevermore to disturb heaven or the purified
I felt a sense of admiration and awe as I appreciated the task that Jesus had accomplished. Turning back to the book, I read further:
I was shown Satan as he once was, a happy, exalted angel. Then I was
shown him as he now is. He still bears a kingly form. His features are
still noble, for he is an angel fallen. But the expression of his countenance
is full of anxiety, care, unhappiness, malice, hate, mischief, deceit, and
every evil. That brow which was once so noble, I particularly noticed.
His forehead commenced from his eyes to recede. I saw that he had so
long bent himself to evil that every good quality was debased, and every
evil trait was developed. His eyes were cunning, sly, and showed great
penetration. His frame was large, but the flesh hung loosely about his
hands and face. As I beheld him, his chin was resting upon his left hand.
He appeared to be in deep thought. A smile was upon his countenance,
which made me tremble, it was so full of evil and satanic slyness.
In my imagination I pictured the image of Satan as described by Ellen White. Suddenly I felt devastated and weak with a monumental realization.
"It is him," I gasped aloud. "It is my master."
"I have been a follower of Satan all these years."
Feeling as if I had been thrown out of an airplane without a parachute, I shuddered in anguish as my whole world collapsed before me.
As I again imaged the evil, sly smile upon Satan's countenance, a horrifying thought pierced my mind: I had been watching him set up his New Age, counterfeit Christianity; his final trump card would be for him to appear on our planet in a physical body and claim to be Jesus Christ - the New Age "reappearance of the Christ."
"Oh, God!" I exclaimed in shock and agony. "'Djwhal Khul' and 'Jesus Christ' are Satan's evil angels. They have been deceiving me all these years." There was no doubt about it in my mind: I had been a disciple of Satan; the whole New Age
movement and its counterfeit Christianity is a clever plan by Satan to thwart the
mission of true Christianity. I suddenly understood that Satan is ultimately preparing the world for his spectacular appearance in which millions and millions of people will proclaim him to be Christ, the returned Messiah. In reality it will be the
appearing of the Antichrist.
A biblical text flashed into my mind: "False Christs and false prophets will appear ... to deceive even the elect - if that were possible."
Devastated with anguish, I was inundated with one horrifying insight after another: Satan and his angels had been training me to be a false prophet. I had become their slave. All those so-called masters of the Hierarchy have never lived as evolved humans in the Himalayas or anywhere else. The masters and the other New Age spirit guides are nothing more than Satan's angels masquerading as agents of God; they are the very angels who were thrown out of heaven at the time of Satan's great rebellion.
Thinking back to the incredible visitation of Djwhal Kuhl some six years before, I realized that I had been completely fooled by the brilliance of his appearance and the claim that he was a 350-year-old Tibetan guru who had finally reached immortality after several incarnations upon this planet. I was shattered to know that Djwhal Kuhl had never ever lived as a human being, but was, in fact, a satanic angel.
I realized that, as an angel, Djwhal Khul had the power to take on a human form and appear as a man, even looking like Jesus Christ. He could appear in his etheric "light body" as he had appeared to me; or he could appear in a physical, flesh-and-blood body, as he had first appeared to Muriel in 1963.
Feeling like a person who has just received news of the death of a spouse, I was stunned into motionless silence.
Thoughts began welling up in my mind concerning all the money and time I had devoted to the New Age movement, all the hours spent in meditation and study. It was all for nothing. All that had been achieved was to ensure my eternal destruction by the fires of hell. All my endeavors to lead people to Jesus Christ and New Age Christianity were simply maneuvers to bring them on the road leading to everlasting death.
I now accepted the real biblical Jesus. The rapidity of my conviction paralleled
several convictions recorded in the book of Acts - the conversion of 3000 in one
day after Pentecost, Saul's encounter on the road to Damascus, and the conversion of the Philippian jailer.
Sitting in motionless introspection for hours, I found the memory banks of my
mind flooding open like a bursting dam. I began to review my youth and remembered the long-forgotten steps I had taken that slowly led away from Christian teachings and brought me into the world of mysticism and the occult.
Suddenly, a profound memory surfaced that made me aghast at its implications. The memory concerned a visit I had made as a youth to a movie theater showing a certain film about devil worship. I had completely forgotten this event in my life, as if the memory had been buried deep in my subconscious. In the trauma of my dramatic exit from the New Age, the memory surfaced with vivid clarity and detail.
I was fifteen years old at the time, and life seemed some-what boring. Everyone portrayed on TV seemed to live a dynamic and interesting existence. This created a desire for excitement to counteract the mundane rut I perceived myself to be in.
Across from my high school was a theater specializing in horror movies, generally of the Frankenstein type. Looking at the posters, I used to think how exciting it would be to see some of these films that were too grisly to be shown on television. Disobeying the counsel of my parents, I visited the theater on several occasions.
Remembering clearly the scenes from this specific devil-worship movie, I was
shocked to realize that this film was directly responsible for starting me on the road
to the real world of the occult.
The movie "The Devil Rides Out" had two main characters. The leading character was a young man who was being lured into a group of devil worshipers. His antagonist was a modern-day Magus, or occult magician. The Magus - the "good" man in the plot - was attempting to rescue the young man from his involvement with influential satanists.
The devil worshipers were a group of rich aristocrats and powerful businessmen. At pre-arranged times, they met at a remote, country estate to participate in various satanic rites and rituals designed to enhance their wealth, power, and social standing.
The crisis in the film centered on a major festival planned by the Satan worshipers, during which they planned to invoke the personal presence of the devil himself, so that he would bless them with even greater power and wealth. As part of the festival, the young man was scheduled to be ceremonially initiated into full membership of the satanic lodge.
The film showed the members of this satanic cult arriving at the worship scene in beautiful antique Rolls Royces, with paint and chrome glistening like diamonds. A large bonfire was burning in a forest clearing. Near the fire, they erected an altar
dedicated to Satan.
The movie depicted the Magus - planning to orchestrate a dramatic rescue of the young man - performing ritual magic to protect himself from the power of Satan. He centered himself inside a large astrological horoscope drawn on the floor of a room in his mansion. He performed various prayers and incantations, using a crucifix and other mystic paraphernalia in the process. He lighted large candles and
recited various occult mantras, even quoting some biblical-sounding texts.
I can remember being deeply fascinated by the film. As a bored teenager, the exciting lifestyle and drama depicted in the film scenes especially intrigued me. It was easy to be drawn by the lavish wealth and the beautiful women possessed by the lodge members. The exciting activities of the Magus, with all his mystical paraphernalia, were equally stimulating and intriguing.
Sitting in deep introspection as I vividly remembered the scenes from the movie, I realized in horror that something subtle and sinister had happened to me as I watched that film. A powerful seed of fascination with the occult and the mystical had been sown in my own psyche. The seed did not germinate for several years. But it was deeply rooted and gradually drew me into the enchanting world of mysticism and the occult.
As I focused on the memory of the movie, I had the powerful insight that, as a
teenager, my absorption with the film started a definite relationship with Satan. I
had subtly crossed over a subconscious threshold in which my inner nature accepted the idea of mysticism as a means of gaining personal power. I was primed and ready to later enthusiastically swallow Satan's lure of New Age metaphysics.
I shudder when I think about what is happening in the movie theaters of today. Films about the occult and the mystical are commonplace. Even such apparently innocuous episodes as E.T. and Star Wars are seeped in occult and mystical concepts. For example, it is known that George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars trilogy of films, was heavily influenced by Carlos Castaneda's book "Tales of Power."(4) Castaneda's account of the Mexican Indian sorcerer, Don Juan, was a book that strongly motivated me to search for New Age shamans in Los Angeles.
(4) The Reincarnation Sensation p. 16, by N. L. Geisler and J. Y.
Amano. Tyndale House, 1986.
How ironic that the "good" character in the film "The Devil Rides Out" was actually every bit as satanic as the devil worshipers themselves, the supposedly "evil" people in the plot. Today I can see how Satan uses his brilliant intellect to deceive New Agers into believing that they are "good" guys trying to spread light and wisdom in an evil world of ignorance.
The devil has scored a major publicity victory by inspiring the media to represent him as a loathsome, fictitious being having the form of an ugly beast. The "Devil Rides Out" portrayed Satan as a beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull. Other common images picture Satan as a red ghoulish devil with horns, wearing a black cape and holding a pitchfork. This image is so bizarre that most people have totally discounted Satan's real existence and regard him as a purely mythical figure. Even though I was brought up as a Christian, I did not believe that Satan existed. Few people are aware of Satan's true existence and identity: an angel of light looking similar to how one would expect Jesus Christ to look.
If people do not stand firmly behind the truth of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, they are easily led astray when Satan appears in his shining angelic form. They automatically think that the great being of light in front of them is Jesus Christ - or at least one of God's great angels - no matter what unbiblical ideas the false messenger begins to propound.
When the same manifestation occurs to New Age apostles, they are stimulated to teach philosophies of greater deception. Take for example, Paramahansa Yogananda, the guru founder of the USA-based Hindu/Christian sect Self Realization Fellowship. When a satanic angel visited him and masqueraded as Jesus Christ, Yogananda incorporated Christianity into his pagan Hindu religion, thereby making it simultaneously more devious and acceptable to Westerners. By this maneuver, even more people could be led astray.
When you consider, for example, 54 percent of the clergy of a major mainline denomination do not believe that the devil is a personal being who directs evil forces, then it is no wonder people will be led astray by signs, wonders and miracles.(5) For if they reject the idea of Satan's existence, they assume that all miraculous and wondrous religious manifestations must come from God.
(5) Gallop survey published in Christianity Today, June 6, 1980.
Even if a person believes in Satan's existence, the visit from an angelic being tends to so inflate one's ego that he is reluctant to consider the possibility that the mysterious visitor is other than a divine being sent from God.
For a couple of weeks after the realization that I had been a disciple of Satan, I was awash with memories of how as a child and adolescent I had become more and more rebellious against Christian teachings and the good qualities of my character. For instance, I started to curse and use obscene language in order to blend in with the habits of my play friends. Eventually I was so immersed in sin and worldliness that the devil was able to take control of my life and lead me into his domain.
Later I had mistakenly believed that my subsequent entry into "mystical Christianity" was a venture bringing me toward greater godliness and peace. Instead, I was actually being lured deeper and deeper into the Mastermind's evil trap.
I recoil in horror as I think about what would have happened to me at the second coming of Christ if I had not been rescued from my counterfeit beliefs. When the trumpet sounded, the mighty earthquake shook, and the host of heavenly angels appeared, I would have considered myself ready and eager for the rapture. Then would have followed the terrible devastation as I discovered I was not being taken up. I would have claimed in desperation, "Lord, Lord, did I not preach in your name; did not miracles and signs and wonders appear in my life?"
Imagine the excruciating shock to hear the words, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoer."
After my rescue from Satan's darkness, I was so glad to have found deliverance and to know the true Jesus Christ, his mission and his sacrifice on the cross. Instead of being a false apostle, I now joined Christian congregations as a repenting sinner.
I apologized to my Christian contacts for trying to lead them astray. After I told them of my former identity and story, they were amazed to learn I had been a
Bible carrying disciple of Satan. They were not aware that they had been targets
of the secret invasion.
I was so shaken at the time of my departure from the occult, I had to seek counseling support from Christian pastors and educators. Several weeks of trauma passed before I started to feel confidence in victory over Satan's counterattacks of intimidation and harassment.
My exit from Satan's web of deception not only involved drastic changes in my religious beliefs; I actually noticed quite marked changes in my physiology.
For example, I had always regarded the stereo in my new car to perform poorly in spite of its being an expensive unit. The system seemed to lack bass tones. I had taken the car in to have the sound system repaired, but without success.
A couple of weeks after ceasing all meditation and metaphysical activity, I noticed I could hear rich, deep bass tones on my car stereo. It seems as if my total bondage of slavery to Satan had actually produced changes in my physiology. These changes seemed to reverse when I became a follower of the real, biblical Jesus and stopped my meditation activities.
I now regard deep involvement in New Age consciousness-raising techniques to act somewhat as a cocaine of the mind. For example, after my exit from the New Age, I noticed that for about a month I felt oversensitive to stimulus. For instance, the noise of a crowded restaurant bothered me a great deal. It was as if I were suffering from "cold turkey" withdrawal symptoms. I concluded that the prolonged use of meditation techniques actually produced subtle changes within my brain, as if I had been absorbing a type of psychic cocaine during meditation. It took a couple of months before I felt normal.
Upon my return to the body of Christ a lot of my thinking had to be reprogrammed. I had been so deeply indoctrinated into the ideas of metaphysics that I was sometimes unsure if an idea was biblical, or if it was something that I had absorbed during New Age training and study.
I was relieved to be rescued. Satan's angels had made my life a nightmare of oppression. Having taken over my voice of conscience, they could interject into my
mind and influence my emotions at any time, thereby making me a slave to their
demands. When the slavery was broken, I rejoiced in the release of freedom of
I am so thankful to God for sending the Holy Spirit to inspire me to read something that broke the Mastermind's power. I attribute the action of the Holy Spirit to be in response to the earnest prayers of devoted Christians, particularly my parents, who had suspected I was being deceived and who had diligently spent years praying for my deliverance. For their prayers, I am humbly thankful. For the special prayer by the woman from Jack Hayford's church, I am grateful.
I thank God I am saved through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for his word, the Bible, and for the power of prayer that reveals truth and protects us from deception and evil. I am thankful for the assurance of one day being with God in his glorious heaven and reigning with him on the new earth.
I say with Paul, "The Lord will rescue me .... and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever" (2 Timothy 4:18).
I rejoice that I have personally experienced the fulfillment of Jesus' promise that "the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
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Will Baron - Author
Pacific Press Publishing Assoc.
Deceived by the New Age
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